Haley Reinhart walked onto the Slim’s stage in San Francisco on April 25 with all the charm and sensuality she has carried throughout her entire career. Starting the sold-out show fashionably late and emerging only once her instrumentalists introduced her with a jazzy interlude, Reinhart made it known that she owned the stage for the coming hours.
In a haze of blue lights, the singer approached her vintage mic adorned in a black sequined outfit, her silhouette dark under her ruby red tulle robe. Her red-gloved hands touched her dramatic curls as she began the tune to “Deep Water,” the first song on her newest album, Lo-Fi Soul.
Her classic jazz style came out as soon as she began, expressing each lyric with hand motions reaching out to the crowd. During “Lo-Fi Soul,” Reinhart held a sweet smile on her face, obviously happy to interact with her audience however she could. Her powerful voice was almost unbelievable coming from her small stature; the calculation in her rasp and impressive breath control made her performance all the more captivating.
Reinhart then performed the very first single of her career, “Free,” for the enthusiastic audience.
“Time flies when you’re having fun,” she said of the years since the song’s 2012 release. Her soft voice contrasted with the natural grit she puts into each of her songs, the intentional muffle of her silver microphone only emphasizing her vintage sound.
This sound came out wildly on “Honey, There’s The Door.” Bringing her own style of feminine empowerment to the table, Reinhart owned every ounce of her sexuality as she sang, “You better tell me that I’m funny and sexy / If you don’t, then, honey, there’s the door.” This intimate tune then transitioned into a cover of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes.
The tone mellowed for “Lay It Down,” Reinhart pulling out a barstool to create more of a café vibe. Her vocals were fully supported by the solid band behind her, a group of talented musicians who pulled through for the entire concert with impressive instrumentals.
“They’re all shredders — I’m a lucky girl,” Reinhart said.
Pulling more out of her cover repertoire, Reinhart asked the crowd if they wanted to “get a little kinky” as she transitioned into the song “Sunny Afternoon” by the Kinks.
“That feels better,” she said, placing her sunglasses at the end of her nose. Her amazing doo-wop skills carried her through this song, classic jazz vibes pairing well with the lively tune.
“Oh Damn,” a song inspired by tunes played on Los Angeles AM stations, a slew of dynamic and forceful expression, kept audience members at attention as the two guitarists battled back and forth in a fight of sound. Both fell to their knees onstage, Reinhart strutting between them as the chorus hit for a punchy closing to the song.
Reinhart may be an all-Midwestern girl, but she said her love for San Francisco made her feel like she could be herself onstage.
“You’re all unabashedly yourselves, so I know I can be as weird as I want up here,” Reinhart said.
Taking the stool out again, Reinhart’s full band left the stage, leaving her with just her voice and a piano for the end of the show. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” ended on a soft note, leaving the crowd in a magical place as the vocalist drew a heart pattern in the air for the love song. Before exiting the stage, Reinhart left with an Elvis-style farewell: “Thank you, thank you very much,” she said into the mic.
But just when crowd members thought that was the end, Reinhart did just what she does best — she reappeared with more and kept fans guessing.
“Dim the lights!” she yelled to the back, followed by her realizing they were already dim with a quick “it’s fine.” Reinhart nailed every beat of her final cover for the night, Radiohead’s “Creep,” proving that her tenacity is present in every song she sings, live or recorded.